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Shelby County, Ala., Builds Fastest Habitat House In Three and a Half Hours



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AMERICUS, Ga., Dec. 18, 2002 – After revving up their power tools and lining up volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Shelby County, Ala., succeeded in constructing the fastest-built Habitat for Humanity home in the world on Dec.17 in just 3 hours, 26 minutes and 34 seconds. The previous Habitat for Humanity home-building record of 3 hours, 44 minutes and 59 seconds, was set March 13, 1999, in New Zealand.

‘Where there’s a will, God always provides a way,” said Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International’s founder and president, who was on site for the build Tuesday. ‘It took a lot of hard work in just 3 ½ hours to complete this home and beat the record, but we knew the citizens of Shelby County would come out and help build a simple, decent and affordable home for the Lilly family.”

Finishing her final 3 ½ sweat equity hours, Habitat homeowner Bonnie Faye Lilly helped to complete her family’s new home just in time for Christmas. Lilly remembers being stunned when she not only heard that she had been selected for a home, but that it would set a new world record for construction time on Habitat house.

‘I didn’t let myself get too excited. It sounded a little crazy to me,” said Lilly, who is 43. ‘The message said that I needed to be at a planning meeting for a house that they were going to build for me in 3 ½ hours. The message said it was going to happen this year! Whenever I get discouraged, I still listen to that message.”

In preparation for the build, Habitat volunteers, including The Young Contractors Forum of the Associated General Contractors of Alabama, put the foundation in place and constructed prefabricated wall panels for the site. Once the whistle blew at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17, the exterior wall panels were raised into place, followed by the interior panels. The finish coat of paint was applied to the walls and the electrical outlets and switches were completed, followed by installation of the kitchen floor and cabinets, carpeting, flooring, appliances, all exterior windows and the siding.

At the same time, the roof structure was constructed on the ground, next to the house. Once the roof was completed - approximately 1-1/2 hours later - a crane lifted the 14,000-pound roof assembly into place. When everything was complete, Montevallo Building Inspector John Abercrombie stepped onto the front porch of the brand new Habitat house at 2:21 p.m. Tuesday and raised two thumbs in the air, making it official—a new world record had been set, even beating the affiliate’s goal of 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.